Community-minded residents and groups have been honoured for their contribution to society at this year’s Erewash Mayor’s Awards.

Four caring residents and representatives of four local groups were presented with their awards by the Mayor of Erewash, Councillor Val Custance, in the recently refurbished Hayloft at Erewash Museum last night (Monday 9 May).

The awards have been relaunched to recognise groups or individuals who carry out vital work in their community without expecting anything in return.

The judging panel looked at nominations, made by members of the public, for evidence of special qualities and service beyond simply being a ‘good neighbour’ when picking out the award winners.

The awards ceremony was the last major engagement for Councillor Custance before the end of her civic year this Thursday (12th May) when Erewash Borough Council’s Annual Meeting will elect a new Mayor and Deputy Mayor.

Councillor Val Custance, the Mayor of Erewash, says:

“Presenting these awards will be one of the highlights of my year in office. It is a pleasure for me to recognise all the recipients and an honour to personally congratulate and thank them for all that they do for this borough.

“I have seen at first hand the work of the countless people in this borough who work so selflessly to help others in so many ways. It is a privilege to be able to present awards to some of those residents and organisations.”

The successful recipients of a 2016 Mayor’s Award are:

Miss Chloe Louise Johnson of Long Eaton
Chloe volunteers for the Leonard Cheshire charity every week supporting adults with disabilities, despite having her own debilitating genetic condition which causes her immense pain. She also volunteers with ‘Funability’ to provide social activities for children with disabilities. Two days each week she is an unpaid teaching assistant in a local primary school working with special needs children. Chloe intends to train as a special needs teacher and is currently doing a part-time degree in special educational needs and disability.

Mrs Karen Judson of Sandiacre
Karen is the Unit Leader of the Sandiacre Guides, a thriving unit of over 30 young girls aged 10-14 years old. She encourages the young people to try new activities and provides opportunities for them to develop organisational and leadership skills. She has made personal sacrifices, giving up numerous holidays, and has hosted Guides from around the world. She has dedicated her time to the Guide movement over the last 35 years.

Mr Peter Smith of Long Eaton
Peter has been actively involved in the Long Eaton Community Carnival Association for the past 13 years, serving during that time as Vice Chair and Chairman. He has also been a long serving member of the Long Eaton Scout Association and in 1982 founded the 17th Long Eaton Cub Scouts Group. He has served as Commissioner (Leader Trainer) and is now Chairman of the District Appointments Committee responsible for vetting all new scout assistants. For the past 25 years he has helped to raise money for the Age UK charity and its predecessors and also sits on the national committee for the safety of fairgrounds and fairground equipment.

Mrs Betty Thompson of Long Eaton
Mrs Thompson is involved with numerous charities which benefit local residents. She is involved in the Long Eaton Foodbank and helps with collections for various other charities. She has undertaken a sponsored swim in aid of the Children’s Society and, for many years, has taken part in the ‘World’s Biggest Coffee Morning’ in aid of the Macmillan Nurses. She also organises transport for residents with disabilities and senior citizens to the Corner Gate Luncheon Club where she helps to serve the meals.

The Draycott Village Fund
This group of local people from Draycott and its surrounding area had changed Draycott into a vibrant village, increasing the business opportunities and the friendliness of the village. The group began by encouraging the putting up of flags for the Queen’s Jubilee and Christmas trees on local businesses. The idea spread onto the outside of houses and from over 40 trees that first Christmas there were over 220 festive trees throughout the village last year. The group has also arranged village events, including scarecrow festivals, Dickensian Christmas markets, garage sales and open garden events. An off-shoot group, the Draycott in Bloom group, works to make the village a clean and friendly place in which to live.

The League of Friends of Ilkeston Community Hospital
The volunteers organise many fundraising events, including the Annual Bed Push, in order to raise much needed funds for specialist equipment which the hospital requires. A particular mention is made of the President, Mr Mike Perry, and long-serving volunteer Mrs Jean Turton who has been with the group for the last 37 years.

The Friends of Erewash Museum
Erewash Museum has been awarded numerous awards over the last few years – the Derbyshire Museum of the Year in both 2011 and 2012 and the overall excellence award at the first ever East Midlands Heritage Awards in June 2013. The major Heritage Lottery Fund project was completed and opened in the spring. All these successes are thanks to the volunteers – the Friends of Erewash Museum – working with the council’s museum team. They have helped arrange events and supported the funding of the new facilities.

Monday Luncheon Club, Flamsteed Centre, Ilkeston
The Flamsteed Monday Luncheon Club is a valued and popular weekly event for diners to be served a fresh cooked dinner and pudding and offers a vital social activity and friendship for its members. The Club has recently ceased being part of Age UK and it is hoped that the volunteers who have run the club for many years will be able to continue as an independent body

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